Mets vs. Cubs MLB Odds & Picks: Why Underdog Chicago Has Value On Road (Thursday, April 22)

Mets vs. Cubs MLB Odds & Picks: Why Underdog Chicago Has Value On Road (Thursday, April 22) article feature image
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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Rizzo and Craig Kimbrel

  • The Cubs and Mets have been two of the most disappointing offenses in baseball this season.
  • Both start back-end pitchers on Thursday, but there's value in one, according to analyst Kevin Davis.
  • Davis breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick on the game below.

Mets vs. Cubs Odds

Mets Odds -125
Cubs Odds +115
Over/Under N/A
Time 7:40 p.m. ET
TV MLBTV
Odds as of Wednesday evening and via William Hill.

The Chicago Cubs weren’t expected to be all that good this season and have thus far met those expectations. However, I believed at the beginning of the season that the Cubs are undervalued, and I continue to hold that belief.

The Cubs have a strong lineup that has underperformed. Additionally, Chicago has a few talented pitchers, such as Thursday’s starting pitcher Trevor Williams.

Given that, is there value in them for their matchup against the New York Mets on Thursday night. My model believes so. Let’s take a look.

The . Currently at +115, my model gives them an edge, but I do not plan on betting on them until they reach a price of +125 or better.

New York Mets

Despite the New York Mets having a winning record, they have an expected winning percentage of 47.4% because they have allowed more runs than they have scored so far. Over the course of a long season, a team’s winning percentage is often directly correlated with their run differential. While the Mets pitching has been strong, their hitting has been weak and that is why they are vulnerable against the Cubs.

Entering Wednesday, the Mets were averaging only 3.17 runs per game, which is the worst of any team in the league. This is because every single New York position player other than Luis Guillorme and James McCann has underperformed their pre-season expectations. Eventually, the Mets should perform better offensively, but their early season offensive struggles do not merit making them -125 favorites to beat the Cubs.

Another reason to bet against the Mets on Thursday is because of their starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi. Like a box of chocolates, with Joey Lucchesi you do not know what you are going to get.

Since 2020, Lucchesi has only pitched 10 2/3 innings. In the past, Lucchesi has been a solid pitcher who can be relied upon to pitch for about 5 2/3 innings per start. But with the Mets, he’s been used in a long relief/short starter role. I expect only four innings of relatively average pitching from Lucchesi on Thursday.

Chicago Cubs

Like the Mets, The Cubs have a strong lineup that has underperformed this season. While New York is last in the league in runs scored per game, Chicago is right in front of them, averaging just 3.38 runs per game.

At full strength, the Cubs are an above-average offensive team. While third baseman Kris Bryant and catcher Willson Contreras are meeting their preseason expectations, other players are not. Ian Happ, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Báez, Joc Pederson and Jason Heyward are all performing worse offensively than they should be.

Outside of the lineup’s unlocked potential, the other reason to bet on them is because of Williams. Last season, he had a 6.18 ERA and this season he has a 5.02 ERA. However, in both this year and last, Williams has a lower xFIP than ERA, implying that his high ERA is due to bad luck rather than a lack of skill. Over the course of a full season, I expect Williams to have an ERA around four and that is why he is dangerous against the Mets.

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Mets-Cubs Pick

When the betting lines opened on Wednesday afternoon, I was disappointed the Cubs only opened as +115 underdogs. While my model gives Chicago an edge, I believe that I can get Chicago at +125 or better.

The Mets are relying on a back-of-the-rotation starter on Thursday and their lineup has performed poorly so far this season. All of this adds up to a bet on the Cubs. As I mentioned, +115 gives you a small edge, but I’d recommend waiting and getting them at +125 or better if you can find it.

Pick: Chicago Cubs Moneyline (+125 or Better)

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